Saturday, August 13, 2022

Phoebe is 9 months old

And she's certainly a clever, curious baby! 

Last night I was doing the dishes and Phoebe was continuously trying to climb into the dishwasher, of course. In my current phase of life the children are often on dish duty and I am merely a helper. Often my job is simply keeping Phoebe occupied while the dish-doers do the dishes (because my children are getting more and more capable as time wears on). However, I was reminded of when I was the main dishwasher of the house because my children were largely too little to be helpful so I would always wash the dishes. And I would do it after I had all the kids down for the night because there was simply too much chaos to ever do it before.

Because babies would be climbing onto the dishwasher and things...

But, the big kids were all at Grandpa's house last night, so I did the dishes after dinner and Phoebe was absolutely determined to get into the dishwasher. I plopped her into her walker to keep her at bay, which usually works. However, she's gotten pretty good at navigating that thing and, as it turns out, the walker is designed in such a way that it slides right under/over the dishwasher door. Phoebe just lined herself up and pulled in like it was her designated parking spot.

And she was so proud of herself for having done so!

She was just as happy to be one the dishwasher in this fashion as she'd been to crawl on the door.

Here she is taking a minute to figure out how to get even more access to the dishwasher:

Should she stand up?

Or should she lean over?

So many options! So little time, for soon I took her out of the walker and put her into her exersaucer instead (because that's stationary).

And here are a few pictures of her getting into even more stuff in the kitchen...

Phoebe is an extreme oral explorer. She moves around her world hoping things taste yummy. Fortunately, most things do taste yummy! Or at least taste...and when they do...Phoebe's all over it!

Here she is gnawing on a potato (good thing she doesn't have any teeth yet):

Andrew carried her from the kitchen to the music room for scriptures and prayer last night and she happily carried in a potato. 

"Is that your comfort potato?" I chuckled.

"Her what?!" Andrew asked, looking down at her. "Oh! I didn't even notice she had a potato!"

She's very happy that we keep the potatoes down low (though we might not be keeping them that low for long).

And here she is having discovered a ziplock bag of popcorn. 

This poor popcorn.

It's really a bag of SkinnyPop that the cat tore into in the basement storage room (she enjoys pouncing on crinkly packaging), so it was transferred to ziplock bags in the kitchen for safekeeping. But apparently Phoebe can open zip lock bags? Either that or another child left the bag less than adequately zipped. Both scenarios seem equally plausible.

Phoebe doesn't have her well-baby visit until the end of the month, but by my estimation she's very close to being 20 lbs. already, which is blowing my mind. And my hips. 

I'm sure is a combination of getting older + lugging around a chubby baby, but my hips are killing me. My right hip specifically (my left hip is fine). I'd been wondering what I could have done the other day, when I swung Phoebe up and sat her on my hip and...oh! That could be what's giving me grief!

Not all my babies had 9 month check ups, but, I can tell you that Phoebe is definitely my biggest baby at 9 months, unless the doctor's scales surprise me with a lower exact weight.

Edited to add Phoebe's weight from her doctor's appointment on August 26 (at 9.5 months old): 19 lbs. 14 oz. So, the biggest baby yet! But had we checked her weight two weeks ago, she might have just matched Alexander (I'm just saying).

Phoebe: 19 lbs. 14. oz (at 9.5 months)
Alexander: 19 lbs. 12 oz (21 lbs. at a year)
Zoë: 19 lbs. 7.5 oz. (20 lbs. 15 oz. at a year)
Benjamin: 16 lbs. 15.3 oz (18 lbs at a year)
Miriam: no 9 month check up (19 lbs. at a year though)
Rachel: no 9 month check up (19 lbs. 12 oz. at a year)

In addition to really liking food, Phoebe still nurses like a newborn, so it's no wonder she's packing on those ounces!

It's equally no wonder why Andrew and I are so very exhausted. I'm sure that once again our age has something to do with it. Andrew keeps telling me that I'm ridiculous when I bring up our age as a factor for anything, but although we might feel like we're still young, the truth of the matter is that we are rapidly approaching our 40s and time takes its toll! 

When I first went to the OB/GYN for Rachel, the doctor called me a "spring chicken." I was just 21 years old! When I went to the OB/GYN for Phoebe the doctor classified me as a "geriatric mother." I'm 37 and we've been getting up in the night with babies for fifteen years. We are TIRED.

My cousin's baby is 9 weeks old and her son just turned 13. Currently the baby shares with the teenager (honestly, an arrangement Rachel was pushing for, but which didn't make sense in our house because neither Zoë nor Alexander are ready to sleep that far away from Mom and Dad (in the basement) and for Rachel to move upstairs, that's what would have to happen, but anyway), and my cousin had this to say:

...If I haven’t put her in her bed before he goes to bed he always comes and takes her to put her to bed. He’ll get up in the night with her too if I don’t hear her (luckily that only happened about three times before she started sleeping through the night).

And I'm sitting here reading that like, "Come again?" 

Started sleeping through the night? Passive voice? Is that a joke?

That makes it sound so easy. 

My children have typically required a lot of support to sleep (Miriam being the content, thumb-sucking exception to this trend). And that's fine. It's just exhausting. 

July was probably the absolute worst. Phoebe spent July sleeping in half-hour microbursts of sleep and I was fairly certain I was going to die. But I didn't. And now sometimes she'll give us two hours at a time, which feel livable. 

What I wouldn't give for, like, eight, though.

Anyway, in spite of the lack of sleep, Phoebe is obviously growing great.

She can sign milk. She can give high fives. She has maybe waved goodbye a time or two. 

She is starting to babble quite a bit: mama, lala, baba, gaga. Often she will move her mouth as if she's talking, but without making any sound (which creeps Rachel out). 

She usually crawls on her hands and knees and can go up the stairs lickety-split, so we often keep the baby gate pulled at the bottom of the stairs.

She likes to scream for entertainment, especially when I'm trying to talk or read to the kids, which makes our homeschool read-alouds interesting.

She loves finding cords to suck on, a very naughty habit.

She loves all foods except spicy ones.

She loves giving kisses.

She loves swimming (mostly just splashing in the water and then sucking the water off her hand). 

She loves crawling through the grass (and eating leaves and things).

She thinks puppets are hilarious.

She loves the cat, though the cat still does not love her.

She pulls up to stand on everything and has begun testing her balance.

She loves books. Mostly she loves chewing on books. But she also enjoys turning the pages. I walked in on her flipping through a National Geographic a little while ago. It almost looked like she was carefully reading it, she was studying the pictures with such curiosity. But then she noticed me, got startled, picked up the magazine, and crammed it into her mouth. So it's possible she's reading while no one is looking and only gums books to throw us off her scent.

She loves looking at pictures of babies or seeing babies (or just people) on video chats.

She's a pretty happy baby, honestly. Until it's time for sleeping. 

And then she just. doesn't. wanna.

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